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of his life.* Nay, on his death-bed, he describes him as being pleased, that while his soul returned to him who made it, his body should incorporate with the great mother of all things, and by that means become beneficial to mankind. For which reason, he gives his sons a positive order not to inshrine it in gold or silver, but to lay it in the earth as soon as the life was gone out of it.
An instance of such an overflowing of humanity, such an exuberant love to mankind, could not have entered into the imagination of a writer, who had not a soul filled with great ideas, and a general benevolence to mankind.
In that celebrated passage of Sallust, where Cæsar and Cato are placed in such beautiful, but opposite lights,t Cæsar's character is chiefly made up
of good-nature, as it shewed itself in all its forms towards his friends or his enemies, his servants or dependents, the guilty or the distressed. As for Cato's character, it is rather awful than amiable. Justice seems most agreeable to the nature of God, and mercy to that of man. A being who has nothing to pardon in himself, may reward every man according to his works; but he whose very best actions must be seen with grains of allowance, cannot be too mild, moderate, and forgiving. For this reason, among all the monstrous characters in human nature, there is none so odious, nor indeed so exquisitely ridiculous, as that of a rigid severe temper in a worthless man.
This part of good-nature however, which consists in the pardoning and overlooking of faults, is to be
Xenoph. De Cyri Instit. lib. viii. cap. vii, sect. 3. edit. J. A. Ern. 8vo. tom. I. p. 550.
+ Salust. Bell, Catil. c. liv.
exercised only in doing ourselves justice, and that too in the ordinary commerce and occurrences of life; for in the public administrations of justice, mercy to one may be cruelty to others.
It is grown almost into a maxim, that good-natured men are not always men of the most wit. This observation, in my opinion, has no foundation in nature. The greatest wits I have conversed with are men eminent for their humanity. I take therefore this remark to have been occasioned by two reasons. First, because ill-nature among ordinary observers passes
for wit. A spiteful saying gratifies so many little passions in those who hear, that it generally meets with a good reception. The laugh rises upon it, and the man who utters it is looked upon as a shrewd satirist. This may be one reason, why a great many pleasant companions appear so surprisingly dull, when they have endeavoured to be merry in print; the public being more just than private clubs or assemblies, in distinguishing between what is wit, and what is ill-nature.
Another reason why the good-natured man may sometimes bring his wit in question, is, perhaps, because he is apt to be moved with compassion for those misfortunes or infirmities, which another would turn into ridicule, and by that means gain the reputation of a wit. The ill-natured man, though but of equal parts, gives himself a larger field to expatiate in; he exposes those failings in human nature which the other would cast a veil over, laughs at vices which the other either excuses or conceals, gives utterance to reflections which the other stifles, falls indifferently upon friends or enemies, exposes the person who has obliged him, and, in short, sticks at nothing that may establish his character of a wit. It is no wonder therefore he succeeds in it better than the man of humanity,* as a person who makes use of indirect methods is more likely to grow rich than the fair trader.
N° 170. FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 1711.
In amore hæc omnia insunt vitia: injuriæ,
TER. Eun. Act. i. Sc. 1.
Upon looking over the letters of my
female correspondents, I find several from women complaining of jealous husbands, and at the same time protesting their own innocence; and desiring my advice on this occasion. I shall therefore take this subject into my consideration; and the more willingly, because I find that the Marquis of Hallifax, who, in his Advice to a Daughter, has instructed a wife how to behave herself towards a false, an intemperate, a choleric, a sullen, a covetous, or a silly husband, has not spoken one word of a jealous husband.
• Jealousy is that pain which a man feels from the apprehension that he is not equally beloved by the person whom he entirely loves. Now because our inward passions and inclinations can never make themselves visible, it is impossible for a jealous man to be thoroughly cured of his suspicions. His thoughts hang at best in a state of doubtfulness and uncertainty; and are never capable of receiving any satisfaction on the advantageouś side; so that his inquiries are most successful when they discover nothing. His pleasure arises from his disappointments, and his life is spent in pursuit of a secret that destroys his happiness if he chance to find it.
* If Doctor Swift's wit was to be subjected to this scrutiny, it would be circumseribed within a very parrow compass. The chief source from which it sprung was the iadignation that gnawed his heart.
An ardent love is always a strong ingredient in this passion; for the same affection which stirs up the jealous man's desires, and gives the party beloved so beautiful a figure in his imagination, makes him believe she kindles the same passion in others, and appears as amiable to all beholders. And as jealousy thus arises from an extraordinary love, it is of so delicate a nature, that it scorns to take up
any thing less than an equal return of love. Not the warmest expressions of affection, the softest and most tender hypocrisy, are able to give any satisfaction, where we are not persuaded that the affection is real, and the satisfaction mutual. For the jealous man wishes himself a kind of deity to the
He would be the only pleasure of her senses, the employment of her thoughts; and is angry at every thing she admires, or takes delight in, besides himself.
Phædra's request to his mistress, upon his leaving her for three days, is inimitably beautiful and natural :
person he loves.
Cum milite isto præsens, absens ut sies :
TER. Eun. Act. i. Sc, 2,
Be with yon soldier present, as if absent:
The jealous man's disease is of so malignant a nature, that it converts all it takes into its own nourishment. A cool behaviour sets him on the rack, and is interpreted as an instance of aversion or indifference; à fond one raises his suspicions, and looks too much like dissimulation and artifice. If the person he loves be cheerful, her thoughts must be employed on another; and if sad, she is certainly thinking on himself. In short, there is no word or gesture so insignificant, but it gives him new hints, feeds his suspicions, and furnishes him with fresh matters of discovery: so that if we consider the effects of his passion, one would rather think it proceeded from an inveterate hatred, than an excessive love; for certainly none can meet with more disquietude and uneasiness than a suspected wife, if we except the jealous husband.
But the great unhappiness of this passion is, that it naturally tends to alienate the affection which it is so solicitous to engross; and that for these two reasons, because it lays too great a constraint on the words and actions of the suspected person, and at the same time shews you have no honourable opinion of her; both of which are strong motives to aversion.
Nor is this the worst effect of jealousy; for it often draws after it a more fatal train of consequences, and makes the person you suspect guilty of the very crimes you are so much afraid of. It is very natural for such who are treated ill and upbraided falsely,